I’m not going to lie, these cookies are a project, BUT they are so worth it. If I had to pick one cookie that screams Italian-American, it would be these beauties. There’s something really special when you combine the delicate almond sponge cake with raspberry jam, apricot jam and chocolate glaze.
To be completely honest, I NEVER make a batch this small, but had to create a recipe that made a “normal” yield of cookies when we shot this for Saucy. (You can watch how to make them HERE for a step-by-step visual!) I often make three separate batches of this exact recipe, but, instead of dividing the batter, I leave the first uncolored, then color the remaining two batches red and green. I use a half pan to cook each batch which will result in a slightly thicker final product (which I prefer!). Either way, if all you know is the store-bought, mass produced version of this cookie, then you ABSOLUTELY MUST make this recipe. You will never go back!
FOR THE CAKE LAYERS:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces almond paste
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Red gel food coloring
- Green gel food coloring
- ½ cup seedless raspberry jam, stirred to soften
- ½ cup apricot jam, stirred to soften
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
- 12 ounces dark chocolate, rough chopped
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. CD Spray 3 quarter sheet pans with non-stick ThanksThanks spray, line with parchment and spray the paper with another coating of non-stick spray.
- MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour and salt until well combined; set aside.
- Using your fingers, soften the almond paste, break it into small pieces and add it to a stand mixer bowl.
- Add the butter and ¾ cup of the sugar and cream until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, allowing each to fully combine before adding the next.
- Add the almond extract and mix to combine.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
- In a clean stand mixer bowl, whip the egg whites, on medium speed, until foamy.
- With the machine running, sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, increase the speed to medium-high and whip to medium peaks.
- Add ½ of the egg white to the batter and mix to combine.
- Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Divide the batter into thirds. (Approximately 350 grams each.)
- Add a drop or two of red food coloring to one of the bowls and gently fold to combine.
- Add a drop or two of green food coloring to another bowl and gently fold to combine.
- Using a small offset spatula, spread the batter from each bowl into the prepared sheet pans into an even layer.
- Run your thumb around the rim of each sheet pan to create a well in between the pan and the batter.
- Bake until just set, for 12 to 14 minutes. The sponge cakes should not take on any color.
- Let sit for 10 minutes before carefully sliding the cakes, using the parchment, onto cooling racks; cool completely.
- Turn a quarter sheet pan upside-down and cover with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Place the green cake layer, bottom-side up, onto the parchment and spread the apricot jam evenly over the cake.
- Carefully place the uncolored cake layer, bottom-side-up, evenly atop the green layer.
- Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the cake.
- Place the red cake layer, bottom-side-up, evenly atop the uncolored layer.
- Place a sheet of parchment over the cake and then top with a few heavy books to press the cake layers.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the weights and top sheet of parchment and slide the cake onto a cutting board.
- Trim ¼” off the sides of the cake to create sharp edges.
- Quarter the cake, lengthwise; refrigerate.
- Meanwhile, MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chocolate, cream and corn syrup and stir to combine.
- Microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring between each interval, to form a thick glaze.
- Place a length of the cake onto a cooling rack. Spoon ¼ of the glaze onto the cake strip.
- Using a small offset, spread the glaze over the top, then smooth out the sides and top.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cut the strip into ¾” cookies.
- Transfer the cookies to a parchment-line sheet pan.
- Repeat with the remaining strips and glaze.
- Refrigerate the cookies until the ganache sets.
- Serve at room temperature.